Irving Grundman Said…

You’d have to think it’s quite odd for a GM to answer some punk’s question about getting tickets. Somehow I can’t see Pierre Gauthier or Brian Burke doing this, or any GM for that matter.

It’s one last letter from the bunch I’d lost years ago and then found recently, and surprisingly, it came from Irving Grundman, who was the Habs GM at the time.

But first, a few things about Mr. Grundman.

Irving Grundman replaced Sam Pollock as GM in 1978, and it was unexpected. Most thought Scotty Bowman would be named the new boss, but it was decided that Bowman would probably be too quick on the draw in trading players, and the bowling alley magnate Grundman was brought in, mostly because of his money-handling abilities.

By all accounts, Grundman wasn’t the greatest Habs GM there ever was, although the recent few might give him a run for his money. It was he who decided to choose Doug Wickenheiser instead of Quebec star Denis Savard in the 1980 draft, whereas Wickenheiser never became the player they thought he’d become and Savard would star in Chicago. Grundman and Jacques Lemaire disagreed on things and the star forward retired and moved to Switzerland. There were also problems finding a decent replacement for Ken Dryden in nets, and three coaches were hired and fired in Grundman’s short time at the helm.

Grundman also pulled the strings on the huge Rod Langway, Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, and Brian Engblom trade to Washington for Ryan Walter and Rick Green and it was this move that is considered most responsible for the saving of the strugging Capitals franchise. Langway would win the Norris Trophy the first two years he was in Washington.

In his defence, Grundman also drafted Guy Carbonneau and Chris Chelios, which were good moves, but all in all, he was considered out of his league and should have concentrated on the bowling alley business.

After he was let go by the Canadiens, he would become a Montreal city councillor, found himself charged with corruption, and sentenced to 23 months of community service and fined $50,000.00.

Almost three months to the day after Mr. Grundman wrote this letter, he was fired by the Canadiens, and Serge Savard would take his place.

18 thoughts on “Irving Grundman Said…”

  1. Hey Dennis,Yes he was a beauty eh,at least we did get Savvy and got him a Stanley Cup in 93.I’m not sure whatg the owners wwere thinking back then,imagine the cups that could have come our way if Scotty was at the helm?

  2. A real old name Marjo. I guess parents don’t name their kid Irving much anymore. Even Dennis is a name not used much now. I come from the Dennis the Menace era. I wonder if there was an Irving the Menace!

  3. Derry, Jean Beliveau said he voted against Scotty being GM. He said every time a player would piss Scotty off, Scotty would barge upstairs and demand the guy be traded. This didn’t sit well with management and was why Bowman wasn’t given the job.

  4. He may have been prone to fits but Scotty may have been ok overall. I know some players couldn’t stand him so that probably didn’t do him any favors either.

    This suggestion doesn’t really help. You would have had to sit outside all night probably and pray no one in front of you was a scalper. Even their online tickets sales is a complete pain. I heard a lot of horror stories about that. People waiting online for 2 hours and getting nothing or only able to get single seats or nosebleeds, etc.

    It drives me nuts that you can go by the Bell Centre and see scalpers with a handful of tickets. I went a couple of years ago to get tickets for a show for my mom and a scalper approached me and he had a stack of tickets as thick as a deck of cards. All kinds of games, all kinds of sections. Sigh.

  5. Hey Dennis,I wasnt aware of this,he was still very succesful as a coach and G.M. though.Irving was the guy who owned the refineries and the smelly old pulp mill in St John New Brunswick,imagine a kraft mill right in the centre of a big city.My dad used to work there in the 60′s before we moved out to B.C.I can still remember driving over a bridge and looking down to see the mill.

  6. We’re not going to score, are we?

    One of the (numerous) downsides of living on this side of the 49th is NHL Center Ice. Usually the TV feed is from the other team. I turn down the sound and listen to the Habs English broadcast (my French is poor, my ear for French is worse). This season there is a 30-second delay… When Sergio Momesso isn’t providing color commentary, it’s cheerleading practice. Enough sunshine and lollipops, this week’s effort has been piss poor. Momesso would call the team on this crap…

    Oh, I rant…. Why is Mr. Mol$on allowing Gauthier to play GM Monday?

  7. Mike. The first period is over and the Canadiens were so flat I’m feeling nauseous. That 30 second delay must be a drag. Isn’t there a better way?

  8. A great GM will be noting which ones are giving a real effort and just cut the rest if they can’t be traded. That Kostitsyn statue should be worth something…

  9. Mike, only a few tonight going good. Cole’s skating well. The equipment manager might be working hard.

  10. I tried the English thing also with the delay but after watching the French broadcast all season much I prefer it and watch it even when a good English feed is available. At least the french broadcasters know how to pronounce the god damn players names properly and my brutal French comprehension is slowly but surely getting better…”….. TANK U boys….. Only 4 points away from 2nd pick. It is important. Tyler Seguin was 2nd, hell, Price was 5th. The top two picks are pretty much always good, unless you pick Doug Wickenheiser. The future is shaping up.

  11. Hobo, I find myself improving in French too by watching RDS. I didn’t think I was smart enough, but maybe just barely. Man, are we freefalling. I’ll take a number two pick and they can build around him. But they have to hurry up. I want to see it on my flat screen before the thing becomes an antique. And before I become an antique.

  12. Hobo, I’m back from Google. A mock draft has Montreal picking 4th and taking a 6’1, 200 lb defenceman named Ryan Murray. But the number two guy right now is Grigorenko, a forward, and he’s 6’3, 200. I’m tired of smallish guys. I hope they draft guys with size.

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